If one of your children is planning on attending a private high school, there’s a decent chance that the High School Placement Test is looming on the horizon. While the HSPT isn’t always a prerequisite for entry, it is recognized as a standard throughout many private schools in the world – and particularly religious Catholic high schools. Here’s everything you need to know about the HSPT as well as some steps you can take to make the process of taking the exam go smoothly for your son or daughter.
The most basic version of the High School Placement Test isn’t that different from any number of other high school level standardized tests. It ditches more complicated criteria like essays that are prominent in the SAT and ACT and instead focus the attention on a battery of multiple-choice questions. The questions tend to be more straightforward than many other high school level exams like the ISEE or the SSAT.
There’s a downside to that, however. While the questions are significantly less sophisticated, they make up for that in terms of sheer volume. The HPST takes roughly the same amount of time as the SSAT and ISEE to complete, but it has double the amount of questions. All told, actual testing time for the HPST takes two and a half hours, and you’re expected to answer a total of 298 questions. These cover fundamental subjects like math, reading, and language. Depending on what school you’re attending, there may be additional sections as well. These include science questions and those related to the Catholic religion – typically included in religious or otherwise specialized schools.
In many ways, the HPST is more straightforward than alternative high school level entry exams. But it also comes with its own challenges. The primary one for most students will likely be the sheer wealth of questions. Completely finishing the exam means working through roughly two questions a minute over the course of 150 minutes. This rapid-fire approach to questioning isn’t very common in standardized tests, and it requires students to really study for the exam rather than just studying for the materials.
The other main concern when preparing for the HPST is that you can only take it once. That means that the score you’ve got is what you’re stuck with for high school entry requirements. Understandably, that means that you’ll want to do all the studying you can to prepare yourself for the experience. It will require rigorous thinking and the ability to quickly make decisions. Since there are no penalties for wrong scores, it encourages an even more aggressive approach to test-taking than alternative tests.
Most students will want to at least consider pursuing HPST tutoring. The HPST is a requirement for getting into many high schools, and you only really get one shot. For that reason, you want to get as much prep time in as possible. And you’ll want to think strategically about the actual design of the test. Working with an experienced tutor can help you better position yourself for the test and prep yourself for the materials you actually need to. LA Tutors 123 is all about goal-oriented teaching that’s focused on the individual. That makes them the perfect choice for students preparing for the HPST. No matter what their learning style or proficiency level is, LA Tutors 123 can match you with a tutor who can create a plan that’s tailored to you. There are no random partnerships at LA Tutors. Instead, tutors are always matched to a tutor well-suited to their unique experiences.